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Senegal drivers boycott Gambia over currency fight

January 3, 2014

ZIGUINCHOR, Senegal (AP) — Drivers in southern Senegal have refused to cross into Gambia after Gambian officials began demanding that all fees be paid in West African francs.

Papiss Toure, president of the drivers collective in the southern city of Ziguinchor, said the boycott of Gambia began Thursday and involved drivers throughout the region.

Gambia is a tiny sliver of a country that cuts into the middle of Senegal, separating the southern region from the capital, Dakar.

Toure said that until recently, drivers had been able to pay taxes and other fees using Gambia’s dalasi currency. However, Gambian officials have begun demanding payment in West African francs because of the dalasi’s weakening position.

The boycott has forced passengers trying to reach Dakar to travel by ferry or circumvent Gambia by going through eastern Senegal.

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